For four UCOL Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science students, an invitation to attend the weekend’s PSA Pro Squash Tournament put them right amidst international athletes.
Senior Lecturer Farzanah Desai said “We jumped at the opportunity of gaining hand’s on experience for our students, I knew what level the players were at on an international scale… but I didn’t say anything to the students till this morning. They were floored, they can’t believe they got to work with such elite athletes in the field of squash”.
Players from Malaysia, India, Australia, the Philippines and further afield gathered in Palmerston North over the weekend for this international squash competition. Students from UCOL were on hand to provide pre-game massage to help athletes prepare for competition, post-game massage focussing on recovery, first aid with regards to soft tissue injury and sports strapping.
Ed Burston, SquashGym
President said “This weekend alongside the PSA Tournament we also hosted an Open completion with over 110 entries. Having the UCOL students on site was fantastic for the overall vibe of both tournaments, with many athletes requiring sport massages, being able to offer that facility on site added to the professional feel of our event. The quality of the service provided was very good and it is something we will incorporate into our planning of every subsequent PSA event.”
This was the fifth time SquashGym Palmerston North hosted the PSA event following the success of the event over the past few years and proved to once again be very popular and well attended, with others following the weekends results live online on NZSport.TV
“Squash can be quite a fast and furious sport, especially at this level, where players ranked as high up in the world were playing. These athletes also prepare mentally for their games, so the students needed to be able to work with them on their whole well-being, in a way that didn’t distract or interfere with game day preparations – the feedback from the athletes has been awesome” said Farzanah “If other competitions like this are heading to a region where UCOL is, we would welcome discussing other opportunities for our students to get involved.”